In R.Y. 70, the Realm came to the East. They came at the head of an army, determined to pacify the region and bring it under the sway of their own goals and dreams.
One legion patrol, led by three Immaculate monks, found itself traveling into a valley called â€œHazelburnâ€. When the priests inquired as to Hazelburnâ€™s status in the war, they were told it was neutral. When they inquired about religion, they were politely told that Hazelburn already had a god, and he was quite effective, thank you.
The Immaculate priest, Pavan Lightning-On-Water, was annoyed, but they had seen evidence of this before. In general, it was both better and safer to confront such gods directly, rather than trying to sway the populace. When he asked where the godâ€™s temple was, however, he was told that there was none. The god simply resided in his home, on the hill. He was told that one could only reach it by traveling clockwise up the gray-stone path, and he shook his head at the arrogance of these gods. Taking his two fellows with him, he traveled up the road to confront this selfish deity.
From atop the hill, the being watched him come. In the seventy years that he had been living in Creation, he had taken a name â€“ Alakazar, The God Who Walks. He rather thought that it suited him. Considering the strange priests approaching, he prepared his throne room to meet them, pushing its ceiling up to join with the sky and filling it with a hundred pleasant breezes and scents that he had discovered over the last few decades. Scents were his current amusement, and he decided to test a few new ones for his guests. Normally, he did not bother with this room, but he felt it would be more suitable to encounter these priests in a grand environment than in a simple study, and this pocket of Home-That-Was-Not was still very amenable to his desires. He had forged his freehold here, and he shifted it to better meet those that he did not yet know were friends or enemies.
Indeed, the three Shaped were most impressed when they entered, looking around through the translucent walls, each showing a different angle of his nation, to Alakazar on his throne. He imagined himself through their eyes, and smiled. Standing over six feet tall, his features perfectly formed as though carved from marble, with his long blue hair pulled back over his ears to cascade from its careful knot down his back, across his slate-gray cloak and blue-gray armour, he was the very image of the king of storms, surveying his domain from on high. He considered the three in return â€“ it was as though they wanted to seem interchangeable, each carefully shaved and wearing identical white robes, although he caught the glint of jade beneath them, and saw the half-hidden razor claws and chakrams hidden by the two in the rear. He let a smile cross his features, like the sun breaking through the clouds â€“ he had found that this usually put mortals at ease. â€œHow may I help you, Exalts?â€
â€œWe have heard that you are demanding worship of these people. This is not the proper path of Heaven.â€ The priestâ€™s words were blunt and to the point, and Alakazar felt his brow wrinkle. It was a sensation he was quite used to, by now, having lived among these mortals for so long.â€
â€œIs it?â€ He considered that for a moment, and then shrugged. â€œWell, that is no concern of mine. I like these people, and intend to remain here. Thank you for your time.â€
There was a short, surprised pause, and then the lead priest spoke again, more carefully. â€œI donâ€™t think that you understand, Skylord. Mortals should strive to emulate the Immaculate Dragons. You will cease this false worship. In return, proper worship will be integrated into the rites of this region, and we will ensure that they are distributed in a fair manner.â€
Alakazar considered that for a moment. â€œNo, I think I will continue as I have been. If your Dragons find this unappealing, they are free to discuss it with me.â€
This time, the pause passed through surprise and into horror. The lead priest took a good five seconds to find his voice, and Alakazar was amused to note the disbelief and rage that flickered across his features. His soul burned strong, and only flared higher with his next words. â€œYou seem to think that this is an option you are being given. It is not.â€ He straightened, shifting into a combative posture. â€œWe have fought rogue gods before, Lord Alakazar.â€
â€œI think that you have never fought one quite like I.â€ Alakazar, still amused, reached out and defined the Story. He saw in his mindâ€™s eye these Dragonlings humbled, admitting their mistakes and prostrating themselves before him, as the chamber and land moved to show his absolute dominance. The Dragon-Blooded felt the change, and fought it subconsciously, as the walls began to shake and thunder flashed down from the heavens. â€œLet me be clear. There is no place for the Dragons in my domain.â€
â€œThen so be it.â€ The lead priest gestured, and his subordinates, still trying to resist the Story that had been defined, leapt into action. Weapons flashed, waters roared, and the winds howled in the face of their great charge. Were they in Creation, they might even have posed a threat to the God Who Walks.
However, they were in his domain, hobbled already by the world he had chosen. It was a very short battle.
Tossing a razor claw to skitter across the floor, Alakazam looked down at the three Exalts. Now, defeated, they lay sprawled across the ground. It was not quite the story he had chosen, but it would do. Leaning down, bringing his mouth close to the ear of the lead priest, he whispered. â€œGo now. Tell them that this valley has nothing of interest to the Children of the Dragon. Your fire burns bright, but let it burnâ€¦ elsewhere.â€ He patted the Dragon-Blood on the head and gestured; the winds hoisted the three priests to their feet and hustled them unceremoniously from the hilltop. The God walked as they tumbled down, coming to a stop near the base of the hill. Gesturing, he sent a zephyr to ensure that nothing too serious had been broken; even the Dragon-Blooded could be distressingly frail, and he had no wish to slay such potent dreams as theirs.
Still, he knew that there might be more later, threats that he could not so easily destroy. And his Gossamer stores were weakened, and fading. Steps would have to be taken if his people were to be safe.
It took three tries to explain to the mayor of Hazelburn what he wished for; the concept of someone being owned-and-free was one that did not translate easily into the simple tongue of the local people. It certainly wasnâ€™t a slave, after all, and he didnâ€™t think that priest quite covered it either. Still, he thought that heâ€™d gotten the point across eventually, and the mayor assured him that only willing Shaped would come.
He thought it might be interesting to have wives.
Last edited by Friv
on 01 Feb 2007, 15:48, edited 1 time in total.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."Patchwork Champions
- You say "to-ma-toe", I say "world-ravaging-laser-beam".